Japan's Pokemon Center Stores Stop Selling Some Pokemon Cards, Implement Lottery System

Pokemon card shortages are continuing to create disruptions at retail stores, as several pieces of Pokemon card merchandise are now being sold via a lottery system due to overwheming demand in Japan. Last week, Creatures, Inc., the company responsible for developing and producing the Pokemon Trading Card Game, announced that it was implementing a lottery to purchase several box sets and decks related to the upcoming "Eevee Heroes" expansion. Fans can enter the lottery for free until May 18th, with winners able to purchase the items beginning the following week. The lottery system will be the only way to get these items, as Creatures announced that they will not be selling the items at physical Pokemon Center locations. Those who don't win the lottery may be able to purchase the items at a later time, as Creatures announced that they are planning to reprint and ship various products that are currently experiencing shortages.

Creatures, Inc. made the decision after the Pokemon Center webpage crashed on May 7th after the "Eevee Heroes" product officially went up for pre-sale. The Pokemon TCG website PokeBeach notes that the website likely crashed due to scalpers flooding the site with bots to buy product, which is in line with the recent overwhelming demand experienced at stores in the United States. Creatures also implemented a similar lottery for several special products tied to the "Silver Lance" and "Jet-Black Poltergeist" sets earlier in April to prevent Pokemon Center stores from getting overcrowded with fans looking for the sets.

The Pokemon Trading Card Game has experienced severe stock shortages around the world due to a mix of increased demand and supply line shortages. The frenzy focused initially on vintage Pokemon cards, but scalpers and speculators have recently started targeting new cards as well. After a physical altercation at one of their stores led to four arrests, Target announced that they were temporarily suspending in-store Pokemon card sales as of last Friday. Some WalMarts have also banned Pokemon card sales due to "inappropriate" customer behavior. Both stores are continuing to sell Pokemon cards on their websites, and cards can also be found at various speciality game and card stores when available.